Writing Centers are not new. Since the experiment of the first writing center in the early 20th century, there has been an explosion of new thought on how to best create better writers. The Crafton Hills College Writing Center exists for that very purpose: to help people become better writers. It is based on the pedagogical foundation that one kind of learning method (classroom lecture and experience) is very helpful, but not a complete instruction in composition. A writer also needs interaction with other writers in a non-evaluated setting in order to grow and learn more about their own writing and writing conventions. A writing center offers such a place to students.
Below is a very small collection of excerpts from influential writing center scholars that have helped form the pedagogical foundation of the Crafton Hills College Writing Center.
"In a writing center the object is to make sure that writers, and not necessarily their texts, are what get changed by instruction. In axiom form it goes like this: our job is to produce better writers, not better writing. Any given project—a class assignment, a law school application letter, an encyclopedia entry, a dissertation proposal—is for the writer the prime, often the exclusive concern. That particular text, its success or failure, is what brings them to talk to us in the first place. In the center, though, we look beyond or through that particular project, that particular text, and see it as an occasion for addressing our primary concern, the process by which it is produced" (Stephen North, “The Idea of a Writing Center” pp. 16).
"In short, we are not here to serve, supplement, back up, complement, reinforce, or otherwise be defined by any external curriculum. We are here to talk to writers" (ibid pp. 22).
"Writing centers do not and should not repeat the classroom experience and are not there to compensate for poor teaching, overcrowded classrooms, or lack of time for overburdened instructors to confer adequately with their students. Instead, writing centers provide another, very crucial aspect of what writers need—tutorial interaction" (Muriel Harris, "Talking in the Middle: Why Writers Need Writing Tutors").
Further articles on writing center theory may be found in the following:
The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing Center Theory and Practice. Robert W. Barnett and Jacob S. Blumner, Eds. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.